Baltimore has a horrendous homicide rate; young blacks males are the perpetrators and victims. The police, black and white, are not much help, and sometimes make things worse.

Yet life goes on in Roland Park, bastion of Whiteness.

Courtesy über alles

A stop light in Roland Park has become the favorite venue of panhandlers. They supplement their income by going through        unlocked cars at night and removing unwanted change and left behind trifles.

One woman helped herself to a pair of new and distinctive running shoes that the wife had forgotten in the car. She was caught on security camera and the husband recognized her.

When he stopped at the aforesaid light, he noticed the thief was wearing the shoes. He criticized her roundly for stealing them. She claimed someone had given them to her.

When he returned home and reported his discovery, his wife was horrified by his discourtesy to the thief, and made him go back and apologize.


This reminds me of an incident in the nineteenth century involving the Episcopal bishop, William Whittingham

Late one night he heard some one engaged in forcing a door in the back part of his house, which is reached by a private alley having but one outlet. Without hesitation and without calling for any aid he went out from the front door, entered the alley, closed the door behind him, and thus had the robber without means of escape except over him. A struggle followed, but he proved to be the stronger and dragged the burglar into the house. Here, after a lecture, he was about to give the conveyancer an opportunity to try his luck elsewhere, when the fellow complained that in the fight his hat had been demolished, and he had the impudence to ask for another. The bishop ordered one to be given him; but the family refused to obey their head, and through their lack of charity the poor thief was turned out with the chance of catching cold.

The Squirrel War

A friend lives an old shingle house and has conducted a decades-long battle against the squirrels that infest his attic and walls. His weapon is the Have a Heart Trap; he catches the squirrels and releases them n the grounds of St, Mary’s Seminary, where, as is well known, there are many nuts.

Recently the squirrels started helping themselves to the tomato crop, and he sent a trap.

What he did not reckon with is Next Door, the website that has replaced the back fence, with about the same degree of accuracy.

Someone in horror posted that someone was TRAPPING ANIMALS! (coyotes, beaver, bear?) This led to a string of remarks expressing dismay and the desire to do something about this trapper. There were plans afoot to steal the trap.

My friend noticed this strong and decided that he didn’t want to lose the trap, so he removed it.

Then someone posted that she had walked by the house thirty minutes ago and that the villain had removed the trap. He realized his house was under surveillance.

Then there were smug exchanges that the guilty party had been EDUCATED, My friend felt he was undergoing reeducation in the Cultural Revolution in Mao’s China.

We had just come back from the West so I suggested that I could get him a coyote skin which he could nail to the wall at the front of his house. There are also numerous stuffed squirrels available in junk shops. These could be placed strategically in windows. He might also send recipes for Kentucky Burgoo (Take one squirrel and skin it…) to the Roland Park Magazine.

He has not taken me up on my offer.

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